Follow Post Office Media

Christmas as usual despite CWU calls for strike action

News   •   Dec 13, 2016 10:26 GMT

  • Strike action called in fewer than 300 branches, many of which will be open to maintain services for customers preparing for Christmas
  • Post Office regrets unions’ refusal to agree way forward through talks, but confident disruption will be minimised
  • Last postal dates will not be affected by action

The Post Office is reassuring customers that it will be Christmas as usual in over 97 per cent of its network of 11,600 branches on despite the strike action called by the CWU.

Kevin Gilliland, Post Office, Group Network and Sales Director, said:

“We had agreed with the CWU that we would resume talks this week, so we are extremely disappointed that it prefers to call for strike action, particularly at such critical time of year. This can only cause concern for our customers and our people.

“We want to reassure customers that if strike action takes place next week at least 97 per cent of our 11,600 branches will not be involved. Our priority will be to support them.

“We have robust contingencies that will ensure that all branches have the support and cash they need to operate. Experience tells us we can manage this effectively and minimise the impact on the communities who rely on our services.

“Any action will affect fewer than three hundred of our branches, and many of these will be open to maintain services for customers preparing for Christmas.

“It will be business as usual in almost all of our network, with over 50,000 Post Office people on hand to support customers as they make their preparations for Christmas.”

Kevin Gilliland continued:

“The Post Office plays a vital role in communities all over the UK and the changes we are making support our commitment to keeping these services widely available into the future.

“Our progress is clear - over the last four years, we’ve dramatically reduced our losses and need for government subsidy, at the same time as modernising nearly 7000 post offices, adding more than 200,000 extra opening hours each week, and becoming the largest UK retailer open on a Sunday.”

Advice to customers

We have received formal notice of strike action has been called in Post Office branches on 19th and 20th December. The CWU have also made comments in the media that they will call further action later in that week.

20th December is the latest recommended date for people sending cards and packages by Royal Mail 2nd Class Mail.

21st December is the latest recommended date for people sending cards and packages by Royal Mail 1st Class Mail.

Customers can visit to find out if their usual branch may be affected by action, and for more information on nearest alternative nearby branches and their opening hours.

Directly managed branches are based in towns and city centres and typically have several other branches nearby.

N.B. The strike action called by CWU does not involve Royal Mail employees. Royal Mail has informed Post Office that it has robust contingency plans in place and expects that there will be little effect on the services it provides.

Post Office Press Office

1st Floor, Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street



Tel: 020 7012 3456 (24 hours),


Follow us on Twitter @postofficenews

Notes to editors

With over 11,600 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.

97% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.

The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.

We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.

We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.